|12,744 (2011 US Census)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Found in New York (Harlem, New York city), New Jersey|
|Muslims, Christians and Practitioners of traditional religion of Senegal.|
|Related ethnic groups|
|African American, American groups of West Africa (Ivorian, Malian, Guinean, etc.), French|
Senegalese American is an American of Senegalese descent or a Senegalese who has American citizenship. In surveys of 2008, some 12,151 people claimed be of Senegalese descent in the United States. However, many African slaves exported to the United States were also Senegalese (arrived together with other Africans that also came of their Senegalese ports). Thus many African Americans may also have some ancestors of this country.
The firsts people from day-present Senegal who came to the modern United States were exported as slaves from several slave ports of Senegal to this country. The Senegambia area, during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was an important slave trade, both for the United States and Latin America. Therefore an important part of the slaves were, among others, of this part of Africa. Most of slaves that came specifically of day-present Senegal were imported to the modern United States since the Saint-Louis (especially) and the Goree Island ports (while, some South Carolina planters bought some slaves from Galam). So, the Goree Island, located a few miles off the coast of Senegal in the Atlantic Ocean, was the place from which the Europeans and Americans organized the export of slaves to the United States of America, during the seventeenth and eighteenth, and even after of the official abolition of slavery in the nineteenth century, displacing maybe 50,000 slaves people of Africa from there - although according the Slave House curator were exported 20 million of slaves from the Goore island to the modern United States -.
However, not all slaves collected from the present Senegal were actually from the there, already that many were from other origins that were taken and sold in this place by the kings of other parts of Africa, due to tribal clashes, greed, etc... So, they are purchased and exported to the Americas. While, most Africans sold into slavery in the Senegal region would have departed from that slave zones at the mouths of the Senegal River, to the north, and of the Gambia River, to the south, caming of places such as Futa Tooro [note 1] or Bundu.
Regarding specifically to the natives slaves from current Senegal, most of them belonged to ethnic groups Mandinga and Fula, but also, to a lesser extent, belonged to Djolas, Wolof, Serer and Bambara peoples, at least. However, not all Senegalese slaves kept the culture of their African ancestors, many of the Senegal´s slaves were also of Islamic religion, even, at least, some of the slaves that belonged to this ethnic groups. Most of Senegal´s slaves were imported to South Carolina, Georgia and the Gulf Coast, followed fundamentally by Virginia and Maryland. This places had thousands of slaves of day-present Senegal. Although these slaves were not the most of the slaves in almost none of these colonies,[note 2] yeah they were it (along with the slaves from Guinea) in Louisiana, a state of the Gulf Coast, in the early stages of the slave trade to this place (between 1712-1719). [note 3] Senegalese and Guinean slaves were imported to those places probably because those slaves could favor the rice plantations of those places already that they were familiar with rice plantations which was commonly grown in Senegambia and Guinea. [note 4]
However, many of these recent immigrants of New York lived not here definitely, emigrating then to others places such as Chicago. In 1970 arrived groups of students, employees and Senegalese street vendors to United States. These immigrants in places as the already named Chicago, often engage in commerce during the transition to the other two occupations. However, many of Senegalese living in United States also have high professions, such as engineering and accounting.
The number of Senegalese immigrants who arrived to the United States had a higher growth after the implementation of the structural adjustment programs of the 1980s and the devaluation of the CFA currency in Senegal in 1990. However, the changing of migration occurred not only by the increase in numbers of Senegaleses arriving: Until the late 1990s, the majority of Senegalese who emigrated to the United States were young men, but since the end of the decade, women also began to immigrate, working as hairdressers, waitresses in clandestine restaurants and studying in universities.
Currently, the Senegalese population in United States is very diverse, both linguistically and culturally, although the majority of Senegalese are Muslims. The Senegalese are animists and although they believe in Muhammad, even some believe in Jesus Christ, they still practice their West African beliefs. The Senegalese tend to speak a variety of languages: English (in the U.S.) and French (is the official language in their native country and the second language of most of them) are their main languages. They also speak dialects of their native country, as is the case of Wolof, the main native language of Senegal and very widespread in the Senegalese-American community. Although it is also true that the Senegalese dialects spoken in the United States have been losing their accents for not being able to distinguish him of an American accent and many Senegalese-American second generation tend to speak mainly English and Wolof. Senegalese traders in places like Chicago have specialized in African art. However, they also trade in counterfeit goods of designer such as shirts and handbags of Korean and Indian traders. They send their remittances to their families that still living in Senegal and religious organizations in this country.
Senegalese in New York
In United States one of the largest concentrations of Senegalese is in the state of New York, in where they are one of the four main Muslim groups from Africa and one of its major enclaves is the neighborhood Little Senegal or Le Petit Senegal, also varied linguistically. They form the majority in a particular area of Harlem (116th Street between St. Nicholas and 8th Avenues). However, the majority of Senegalese of this neighborhood grew up poor in small villages in Senegal, where they did not receive one educated, so they do not usually go to schools in Harlem. The most educated Senegalese usually do not live in that neighborhood, preferring places like New Jersey. Due to the size of the Senegalese community in Little Senegal, there also some Wolof´s interpreters who volunteer at the Harlem Hospital. The Wolof be extend throughout the neighborhood, including in the Senegalese food restaurants, which handle both English and Wolof. In addition, currently, most Senegalese are owners of shops, jewelry stores, taxis, travel agencies and companies professionals. Senegalese people have successfully assimilated into the American culture while still maintaining their native language, Wolof. Preserving this language helps unify and strengthen the small community in Harlem known as 'Little Senegal'.
Media and Senegalese Publications
Senegal conducted a relations program with community Senegalese in United States, so, many publications written in this country such as newspapers, magazines and brochures or restaurant menus from Senegal, are sent into the community via email. Most information comes through newsletters, but not there many bulletins of this type. The newsletters are about the events that occur in Senegal. However, there are also three Senegalese programs that are broadcast by radio stations, one of them is called Voices of America. The programs are heard within an hour every Sunday and the radio announcers often speak Wolof. The newsletters are written mostly in French, although there is, also, one of them written in Wolof. Many others people also are learning Wolof in that Columbia University. There are also organizations that support the recognition of Senegalese nationality or his activism in the United States, as the which does the Association of Senegalese in America (ASA). ASA used to have a FM radio´s station, one broadcast that debated the way in which the Senegalese of United States should cooperate in his community and the kind of life that there in United States.
A association created by Senegalese immigrants is called Tuba Da'ira Chicago in Rogers Park (Chicago), a Muslim association. People who belong to this organization are the disciples of the Murid tariqa (Arabic: Muslim Sufi order). Most of the current members of Da'ira are people who have just arrived from New York to Chicago looking for better markets and better educational opportunities. The Da'ira has held numerous activities in Chicago. The murids usually meet every week to sing the Litany of her wali (Arabic: the friend of God or holy leader) Cheikh Amadou Bamba DIOP. The Da'ira holds an annual conference with the African American Muslim community and Arab in Chicago. In 1997, The City of Chicago stated that on August 13, was Cheikh Amadou Bamba Day The Da'ira also allows the visit of a Murid marabout, a spiritual leader of Senegal and a number of Islamic scholars. The Murid tariqa also developed an exchange program with American Islamic College in Chicago.
- Futa Tooro was, in indeed, an of the main proslavery Kingdoms of West Africa during the colonial period of the Americas.
- Not even they were the largest group of slaves from Senegambia in those places, as slaves from Gambia were more numerous.
- So, many Wolof and Bambaras people were imported as slaves in Louisiana in the eighteenth century.
- Only less than 5% of the slaves from Senegambia were exported to other places of the United States, such as New York or Pennsylvania, arriving only hundreds of Senegambian slaves to those places. While, the Senegalese yeah were the most of the slaves in North Carolina (although lived there only 544 slaves) and the most of the Senegambian slaves in New York and Florida.
- Table B04006, People Reporting Ancestry, 2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, United States Census Bureau
- De Senegal a Talcahuano: los esclavos de un alzamiento en la costa pacífica (1804). - (in Spanish: From Senegal to Talcahuano: an uprising of slaves on the Pacific coast (1804)).
- Estados Unidos de América: Información general sobre los Estados Unidos de América (In Spanish: United States: Overview of United States).
- The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Senegal Slave House's past questioned.
- Omar ibn Said (1831). "Autobiography of Omar ibn Said, Slave in North Carolina, 1831". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- EL ELEMENTO SUBSAHÁRICO EN EL LÉXICO VENEZOLANO (in Spanish: The Subsaharian element in the Venezolan lexicon).
- Transatlantic linkage: The Gullah/Geechee-Sierra Leone Connection. Retrieved December 29, 2011, to 20:51 pm.
- Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion, Volumen 2. Writing by Junius P. Rodriguez
- Uncovering African Roots. DNA Tests, New Technology Reveal African Heritage. Retrieved September 8, 2012, to 16:45 om.
- Africans and Their Descendants in the Americas: Restoring the Links Using Historical Documents and Databases. Retrieved October 14, 2012, to 20:20 pm.
- "New York Voices". New York University. 2001. Retrieved 02:50, 15 May 2010.
- Encyclopedia of Chicago: Senegaleses in Chicago. Posted by Beth Anne Buggenhagen. Retrieved September 3, 2012, to 1:47 pm.
- Senegal's ethnic groups
- Chief of State and Cabinet Members ; General information
- Country Profile from BBC News
- Africa: The role of African Immigrants in US Economy. Rwanda Democracy Watch
- New York Times: Immigration and Jobs: Where U.S. Workers Come From